The recent arrest of Conor D’Monte, the alleged UN Gang leader and suspect in the 2009 daylight slaying of Kevin LeClair, is a positive development for the Lower Mainland’s long struggle against gang violence.
D’Monte has been on the run for years. Other members of the gang, including triggerman Cory Vallee, were caught, tried, and imprisoned.
Going on the run has been an effective tactic for the Lower Mainland’s gang members.
One of the problems facing local homicide investigators is that they are extremely local.
The suspects they’re chasing have access to cash and international criminal networks, and when under pressure, they can simply vanish into new identities around the world.
Criminals wanted in B.C. have turned up (alive or dead) in Mexico, California, Malaysia and now in Puerto Rico – where D’Monte had reportedly been masquerading as a local environmental activist.
This adds to the problems of a typical gang-related murder investigation, which are already complex. The trials of these killers has shown that convictions are typically thanks to gaining the cooperation and testimony of people within the gangs – a difficult and time-consuming process.
The fact that these gangsters frequently flee Canada when they feel the law – or their criminal rivals – are closing in just drags out what was already a time-consuming process.
To combat this, Canada needs to work more closely with overseas law enforcement partners.
A murder in a Langley parking lot isn’t just the result of a grudge between two local crooks. It’s related to a drug trade that stretches across the country and around the world.
When Canada does work effectively with overseas partners, we catch, return, and put on trial the suspects in these cases. When we don’t or can’t do that, they continue to evade justice.